Is The Rest Of The World Now Realizing SportsCenter's Shortcomings?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It always pains me to write these posts because Sports Center was the show that made me the diehard fan that I am today. Buuuut.....the show is struggggling, and struggling bad. According to Ad Age via Sports By Brooks....advertising on SportsCenter is a joke....

At the same time, interested marketers ought to be wary of sponsor overload. During the course of 90 minutes, that same Friday show touted Corona, "The Comebacks" and Verizon Wireless among its presenting sponsors, plus Gatorade ("Cooler Talk") and Chevron ("Closing Number") as segment sponsors. I'm pretty sure I missed a few, too. My point? Without paying close attention -- and "SportsCenter" is the default background noise in dorms and locker rooms all over America -- you can't keep track of 'em all. Marketers might want to look elsewhere for undivided attention.

It's become fashionable for self-anointed keepers of the sports-journalism flame, especially those of us who remember ESPN in its making-it-up-as-they-go heyday, to bash the network and its world-takeover designs. I don't buy that line of thinking. ESPN still does an awful lot quite well, especially on the web.
I couldn't have said it better myself. It reminds me of a post I wrote in July on the very same topic after Scott Van Pelt brought up blogs while interviewing Will Leitch....
"People of the Blogging Generation grew up with ESPN being a pioneer in the Sports World. SportsCenter was a half an hour and gave you all the news for that day in a nice little package. You smiled, ate dinner, and watched a good sitcom before you went to bed. It was wonderful.

Now the ESPN Brand and it's subsidiaries go before the players and the game. That's what makes the blogging world stand up and scream. And while I know that you've just copied the MTV model, money runs the world, and you're probably not changing back....it just....to use your wording....sucks. It sucks to know that the best show on television ever will never be the same again. It sucks that I have to listen to Chris Berman do games when he hasn't said something about the ACTUAL game in 10 years."
Sooner or later all the cards have to be laid on the table. There are amazing people at ESPN who I don't regularly highlight, but must have taken notice when Dan Patrick abandoned ship. You chosen few are the only talent keeping hardcore fans watching certain programs on the "Leader", and you deserve credit. I would love to list all of you, but you probably already know who you are.

ESPN's now giving us Rick Reilly, some amazing games, and a bunch of clowns. Sports Center is an afterthought and that's pretty depressing if you ask me.

ESPN Becoming The "Rockin' Oldies!" Of Sports Media (Sports By Brooks)
Enough Show Biz; Let's Talk About the Game, Any Game (Ad Age)
About That Whole ESPN Radio/Scott Van Pelt Thing (Awful Announcing)

29 Comments:

I hate Linda Cohn and her fake smile, it sends shivers down my spine. Or when she refers to anything that older white women shouldn't say.

B-Sells said...
Nov 20, 2007, 7:38:00 PM  

Sportscenter is still one of the most watched cable programs every day and is still the best show on TV...period. Who cares if you gotta see a ton of ads? Where aren't there a ton of ads these days? ESPN will remain "the leader" for many many years to come, and for good reason

Anonymous said...
Nov 20, 2007, 7:42:00 PM  

SportsCenter has become unbearable to watch. I'm only sticking with it until ESPNEWS HD goes live.

gwong said...
Nov 20, 2007, 7:48:00 PM  

Maybe if ESPN toned down the advertising for all the ESPN properties, it could more tolerable.

Until then...

RIP Tom Mees...that was back when adults were doing the sports news, now it's given to us by corporate shill adolescent jock morons and Mike Greenberg.

hollywood wags said...
Nov 20, 2007, 8:32:00 PM  

Anybody who remembers what SportsCenter used to be like doesn't watch it now - they watch ESPNEWS to get just scores, highlights, news, and analysis.

The DJ Stuey Scott and Horse-face Linda Cohn SportsCenter is not the Tom Mees/Bob Ley SportsCenter. It isn't even the Dan Patrick/Keith Olbermann/Charlie Steiner/Jack Edwards SportsCenter, and probably never will be again.

Nov 20, 2007, 8:43:00 PM  

if bristol fell into a black hole and sky sports replaced espn we would all be so much better off. anyone who watches sky sports news knows that their format is the best. non stop news coverage like espn-news, but information tickers take up half the screen like bloomberg news. they realize that people are watching to get the information, they dont give a fuck about the zany personalities dressed up like a goddamn leprechaun

Mike Georger said...
Nov 20, 2007, 9:11:00 PM  

also, who the fuck are these people who have such a hardon for defending espn? do they think that theyre going to get offered a job hosting sportscenter because of their unwavering support?

Mike Georger said...
Nov 20, 2007, 9:16:00 PM  

I blame Disney - all this corporate synergy bullshit has ruined ESPN. That, and they are too cheap to show actual games - that's why there is so much poker and ESPN original programming. I'll save my cable money and go with 360 (thank you for that, ESPN) and the baseball and hockey online packages.

Anonymous said...
Nov 20, 2007, 9:21:00 PM  

That anonymous poster calling Sportscenter the "best show on TV" is sniffing glue. SNIFFING. GLUE.

Kyle said...
Nov 20, 2007, 9:29:00 PM  

To the person who said espn will remain "the leader" for a good reason: What is that reason? College Gameday is the only reason aside from actual games that I watch ESPN. I can get information from reading recaps online, my local newspaper or league websites without any dumb ads or stupid personalities.

Jerry said...
Nov 20, 2007, 9:34:00 PM  

"I blame Disney - all this corporate synergy bullshit has ruined ESPN."

THIS.

Anonymous said...
Nov 20, 2007, 10:15:00 PM  

Except on VERY rare occasions(i.e., the VA Tech shootings), I don't even watch Sportscenter anymore. It's become a variety show, instead of a news and update show. All I wanna know is who won and who lost; maybe see some highlights. That's it; nothing more, nothing less. And Berman reminds me of the athlete who doesn't know when it's time to retire. I know I sound like an old fart, and I guess I am at 55, but things really were better back in the Big Show/Tom Mees/Charley Steiner days.

Bruce said...
Nov 20, 2007, 11:50:00 PM  

i dont really care about the ads its still a great place to go for sports and some of the announcers may not be the best but I can get over it..of course people like charlie steiner were better but things grow bigger and so do egos. Just enjoy the sports instead of worrying about the ads. everyone sells out sooner or later and its called revenue streams...everyone needs new streams once in a while so i really hope this isnt about the money they are making.

mike said...
Nov 21, 2007, 2:39:00 AM  

i love this site, but come on we all know everything these days is about coporate sponsorship so just get over it...there are some personalities i like and some i dont but i dont not watch a whole network because of stuart scott and chris berman

mike w said...
Nov 21, 2007, 2:44:00 AM  

If you are gonna copy info from sbb then copy the real info on why dp left the so called sinking ship. Dp wanted absured amount of money that he was not worth. Trico's radio show is 10 x better because you hear from the guest, he critizes espn, and he does not act like his opinon is always right.

Dp's radio business is not going well according to sbb. They say he is going to sporting news because he is not being picked up. Dp is the ego. So if you are gonna copy the truth from sbb copy the whole truth. Not just the truth that benifts your supposed hard on for dp.

Anonymous said...
Nov 21, 2007, 6:10:00 AM  

"i dont not watch a whole network because of stuart scott and chris berman"

Well, that's enough for me not to watch ESPN.

Add in the poker nonsense and it's much easier to stay away.

hollywood wags said...
Nov 21, 2007, 6:14:00 AM  

DId anyone notice how far ESPN talking heads went to not say a single bad word about Vince Young this past Monday?

So, was Rush Limbaugh right? They fired him, yet Emmitt is obviosuly incompetent at his job, he stays on, and is tutored in remedial English...which makes it worse because now he has to think about words, which he's never done in his entire life.

ESPN is filled to the brim with incompetent lackeys.

hollywood wags said...
Nov 21, 2007, 8:54:00 AM  

If they stopped focusing on pop culture as much and committed to real sports reporting, they could possibly be great again.

Jarrett Carter said...
Nov 21, 2007, 9:42:00 AM  

between the nfl network, nfl.com, nhl network, nhl.com, the upcoming baseball channel (which will not just beat us over the head with yankees/red sox), rivals.com (including rivals radio on sirius and itunes), the various regional fox channels with their team-specific content and yahoo sports, why in the world would i stoop to watching MAD-TV rejects scream bad one-liners at me in my living room constantly during non-stop loops of yankees/red sox/lakers/patriots/cowboys/duke highlights?

aside from live games, college gameday is the lone element on bspn that is quality tv if not much-watch tv. even PTI has become predictable and as a result, somewhat stale.

like what has happened with newspapers, the internet has sped past sportscenter in particular, and bspn in general, like brand new BMWs on the far left lane on the autobahn of sports.

real sports fans don't let friends watch bspn.

Anonymous said...
Nov 21, 2007, 10:35:00 AM  

between the nfl network, nfl.com, nhl network, nhl.com, the upcoming baseball channel (which will not just beat us over the head with yankees/red sox), rivals.com (including rivals radio on sirius and itunes), the various regional fox channels with their team-specific content and yahoo sports, why in the world would i stoop to watching MAD-TV rejects scream bad one-liners at me in my living room constantly during non-stop loops of yankees/red sox/lakers/patriots/cowboys/duke highlights?

aside from live games, college gameday is the lone element on bspn that is quality tv if not much-watch tv. even PTI has become predictable and as a result, somewhat stale.

like what has happened with newspapers, the internet has sped past sportscenter in particular, and bspn in general, like brand new BMWs on the far left lane on the autobahn of sports.

real sports fans don't let friends watch bspn.

Anonymous said...
Nov 21, 2007, 10:35:00 AM  

"Anybody who remembers what SportsCenter used to be like doesn't watch it now - they watch ESPNEWS to get just scores, highlights, news, and analysis."

Nailed it. And they probably don't care either.

"If they stopped focusing on pop culture as much and committed to real sports reporting, they could possibly be great again."

I totally agree. But they know what demo they are going after. I will occasionally watch OTL and I still enjoy it. But other than that?

The Zoner said...
Nov 21, 2007, 10:43:00 AM  

Tom Mees

That Elliot kid

Max Kellerman

Nuff said.

hollywood wags said...
Nov 21, 2007, 10:54:00 AM  

Sports Center is an afterthought and that's pretty depressing if you ask me.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Nov 21, 2007, 2:54:00 PM  

"Anybody who remembers what SportsCenter used to be like doesn't watch it now - they watch ESPNEWS to get just scores, highlights, news, and analysis."
This is so spot on, there's nothing else to add...

Big Al said...
Nov 21, 2007, 6:53:00 PM  

Espn is unwatachable except for games, kirk "mr ohio state" herbstreit is as bad as dukie vitale, if Mark May ever leaves the college football telecasts, its over for me since May is the only college footbal "expert" who hasnt drunk the Big Ten / Notre Dame kool-aid that is in great supply at Bristol.

As for SportsCenter, it is basically an infomercial for whatever game is being shown later, or was shown last night. Good luck seeing other highlights if the yankees/red sox/patriots/ duke/ ohio state/ jeff gordon/ breathed yesterday. this past spring you had to wade thru 30 minutes of baseball highlights before there was any mention of the NHL playoffs, and nobody in baseball did anything remarkable that day.

Anonymous said...
Nov 21, 2007, 10:25:00 PM  

When bloggers make their incessant comments about ESPN failing in their eyes, it's always given off the stink of jealousy to me personally. Their vitriol towards Jemele Hill's journalist-turned-ESPN-personality annual salary just sealed the deal for me, making me simply not listen to these (often incompetent) talking heads anymore.

The background noise I hear isn't Sportscenter, it's bitter bloggers who need to do something better than ESPN- which, admittedly, can't be a huge problem- or just shaddap and deal with it. Political blogs like Instapundit and Daily Kos have destroyed the old political media, with their better and more accurate reporting. When will sports blogs (Deadspin? The Big Lead?? Firejoemorgan?!?) step up and do the same-- or can they at all?

Anonymous said...
Nov 22, 2007, 1:14:00 AM  

ESPN won't criticize Vince Young because he's black.ESPN doesn't can Emmitt because he's black.ESPN didn't can Irvin for that ony Romo comment because he's black.

Every other time I watch SportsCenter, I have to sit through some 10-minute fluff feature on some poor minority who has to overcome racism.

They are so liberal, sooner or later we're going to hear them spend houra on how sports impacts global warming.

I miss Tom Mees and Charley Steiner.

Brian said...
Nov 22, 2007, 12:08:00 PM  

Why does ESPN have the worst ever such as Merril Hoge, Sean Salisbury and Jaws as the experts. They stunk as pros. Same for Steve Phillips. Anyone who was horrible is now an expert. To Trey Wingo, I beg you,PLEASE RETIRE and take Linda COHN, JIM RHOME and Skip Bayless with you.Unlike you guys I still like Boomer and TJ especially when they are doing the Blitz. I miss their Sunday nite wrapup which is now NFL PRIMETIME hosted by the AllTime ImBECILLE Trey Wingo. What a putz!!!!The only thing I really like on ESPN is AND 1 streetball.
Happy Turkey to All.

Chenzo said...
Nov 22, 2007, 12:43:00 PM  

Huh? Merril is the best. He actually breaks down the film and provides fascinating insight an analysis. He should be on MNF instead of Kornshiner... Click This Link to sign a petition to get Merril on Monday (And OUST Tony!)

sloanworks said...
Nov 28, 2007, 1:15:00 PM  

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